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You're not really a single parent

(181 Posts)
Noodledoodlesandspud Fri 22-Mar-19 22:23:00

I posted a status on Facebook earlier saying in a jokey way how hard it was to have a shower as a single parent. My aunt who lives abroad commented 'well you're not really a single parent are you'.
I asked her to clarify thinking that she might have not realised me and STBXH had separated. She replied well STBXH helps out a lot and what ever happens you still have the boys keeping you together'. I replied saying that actually STBXH only has the boys one day a week and rarely pays maintenance etc and I do everything for my boys. She then said there no need to be like that.
AIBU to be really pissed off that she said that.
Tbh she lives abroad and hasn't seen STBXH since we split and his lovely persona has slipped (he's a manipulative bastard and noone else saw it until after we split and his mask started to slip).

MsSquiz Sat 23-Mar-19 13:14:13

@anon400 your post is bullshit!

I am 32 years old, my parents split when I was 6 months and divorced when I was 2. My DM would have gladly given my father whatever access he requested - he asked for nothing. Throughout my life, until I was about 14, I saw him 3 times a year (Christmas, Easter & my birthday) and he would arrive at my DM's house with £20 and a card. That was all I received from him as he didn't pay maintenance or anything directly to my DM. He went on the sick so CMS couldn't pursue him (and worked cash in hand!) she never reported him, never slagged him off in front of me, always allowed him into her home when he just turned up!
He never attended any school event, he never bought me a pair of shoes, he never wanted to have me stay at his flat overnight. My DM did it all by herself (working multiple jobs)

My DM died when I was 30, my father (who is still alive) didn't get in touch with me, didn't send a card, didn't come to the funeral.

So, while he may be still alive and kicking, he is absolutely not a parent to me, and never has been. And my DM was absolutely a single, solo, lone parent in every fucking sense of the word!

Didyeeaye Sat 23-Mar-19 12:50:06

I get where you are coming from. My sister is very much a single parent as her ex takes nothing to do with their children.
I'm very lucky to have a hand on exP who has DS about 3 nights a week and is on hand to pick up etc if I came make it back from work. We have been separated since DS was a year old but have managed to be amicable (much to his new Mrs' dismay)

NuffSaidSam Sat 23-Mar-19 12:43:30

'If you are a parent who is not in a relationship then you are a single parent.'

I don't think that's right. The single in 'single parent' refers to your parenting status not your relationship status.

You can be a single parent with a partner.

If your new partner doesn't live with you and takes no responsibility for your children (why would they?) you're still a single parent. They're not doing any childcare, contributing financially, sharing any parenting decisions because they're not the child's parent.

Different of course if you move in together/get married and it becomes a step-parent situation.

I know quite a few single parents who are in relationships and definitely still single (or solo) parents.

blackistheneworange Sat 23-Mar-19 11:35:03

Ooh can I join in - my XH sees our son but refuses to see our daughter. Am I half a single parent?

grasspigeons Sat 23-Mar-19 10:47:39

I think your aunt is in your list of people who aren't going to be much support.

Raising children is hard and really the amount of support you have, whether its from paid for cleaners, childminders or good friends, or family or partners is the only thing that makes it easier.

justilou1 Sat 23-Mar-19 10:45:04

In the nicest possible way, her total lack of insight into her life (and lack of questions) kinda makes your aunt a bit of a dick... she obviously had some preconceived ideas about why you are in your situation and that it’s entirely your decision.

MotherOfDragonite Sat 23-Mar-19 10:36:25

I'm a solo parent, and I see that there are some differences, but I do think that a single parent is anyone who has primary custody even if they do have "help" from the non-resident parent seeing their own children too.

If you're single and you've got children with you for the bulk of the time, you're a single parent.

MRex Sat 23-Mar-19 10:34:50

Well, so now you know your aunt isn't supportive it's probably not worth keeping in touch with her much. Christmas and birthdays should do it.

Fighting over labels seems unhelpful, particularly when people are struggling on both sides.

BluebadgenPIP Sat 23-Mar-19 10:33:17

Exactly soup.

I chose to have my ex beat the crap out of me and rape me and emotionally abuse me.

Dead on.

SoupDragon Sat 23-Mar-19 10:30:09

I am not a single parent. I did not choose this. We did not choose this.

Major difference between widows and single parents.

Whereas I clearly chose to have my XH go fuck someone else whilst I was pregnant.

Idiotic. It's not a fucking competition.

Pastapastaandmorepasta Sat 23-Mar-19 10:16:36

And still it carries on....why on earth the need to compare? Why can't one situation be difficult in one way and another in a totally different way. I can only assume the desire to say but my situation is worse comes from having a tough time and not feeling supported and understood. Yet by pitching it like this, my experience/your experience women are perpetuating that lack of support and understand for others.

None of us have walked in each other's shoes so we truly can not compare our situations. Absolutely.

thedisorganisedmum Sat 23-Mar-19 10:13:55

You have no idea what it’s likemfor me.

and that applies to everyone, so no one can say they have it easier or harder than anyone else. A bit of support instead of childish competition would be great.

thedisorganisedmum Sat 23-Mar-19 10:12:21

No, it's not the same, but my point was against turning it into a competition. It's just hard. What makes it harder is telling the (usually) women "it's easier for you", or "you are used to it, so that's easy". Can't we just leave it as "it's hard".

The exact same situation will also be felt differently by 2 different families anyway.

Some divorced parent will really suffer from being completely abandoned by their ex, and the kids having no contact.
Others will struggle massively with being forced not to have their kids every weekend or second weekend, to have the influence of the other one parenting style. Some are even unable to accept to see their children happy with their ex and new partner! (which is less reasonable, but who is rational all the time).

Even if someone has experienced a partner away for months and find it easier doesn't mean it's easy for someone else.

NameChanger22 Sat 23-Mar-19 10:10:20

I feel sorry for all parents. Hardly anyone knows what they've let themselves in for. It's often harder to be a parent when there's a father around, for all kinds of reasons.

PFB2 Sat 23-Mar-19 10:08:26

You have no idea what it’s like for me

Yes, I realise that. Which is why I said we cannot and should not compare, because we have never walked in each other's shoes. As I said, it's not a competition.

BluebadgenPIP Sat 23-Mar-19 10:05:00

Do you have any idea of the emotional implications on a child of having their father in their life, out of their life, in their life, out of their lives? Broken promises. Bad mouthing their mother. Allegations to SS.

Yes thanks. I do. That and more.

You have no idea what it’s likemfor me.

PFB2 Sat 23-Mar-19 10:03:13

No one is saying that's easy. I'm sure it's tough. But it's absolutely not the same as having no partner at all. Do you know why? In 8 months he will be home. It's finite. You know there is an end point. Yes he may go away again, but you have periods of support from the father of your children. Married/ partnered people have very little idea what it's like to face a future of no one coming home at all.

I don't think anyone's saying it's the same. Do you have any idea of the emotional implications on the children of saying goodbye to one parent and going such long periods without them and then the child having to adjust again to having them around when they come home. Just for that cycle to repeat itself? The tears, the broken hearts that you have to try to mend as best you can when there is a big hole in their life that you just can't fill. There are many challenges that come hand in hand with having spouses who work away for long spells. At one point, my DC spent 12 months out of a 14 month period without their dad. That was extremely tough for them emotionally.

There are many challenges and having a spouse who works overseas a lot is not automatically easier than being a single parent. Just the same way that having a husband who is around all the time doesn't automatically make life easier than being a single parent. There are so so many factors at play such as what your support network is like, what your financial situation is, whether you are in a relationship or in an abusive relationship, or single. It's not a contest but some people like to discount other people's challenges because apparently they have it worse. It's pathetic in all honesty. None of us have walked in each other's shoes so we truly can not compare our situations.

BluebadgenPIP Sat 23-Mar-19 10:02:37


JacquesHammer Sat 23-Mar-19 10:00:27

*another number

BluebadgenPIP Sat 23-Mar-19 10:00:13

Why is it slays women having a go at other women in these sort of debates?

It’s not a competition.

JacquesHammer Sat 23-Mar-19 10:00:12

You might miss them, worry about them, I would agree you still carry a mental load - but you still have time alone, you can catch up on sleep, work out, go out alone... etc

Because when my DD’s father has her I work. Much like another of other single parents I know.

NinnieNouse Sat 23-Mar-19 09:57:33

@PFB2 Your husband is in the military, there are many in your position. You fit in a box with them.

NameChangex3 Sat 23-Mar-19 09:57:03

Why not @JacquesHammer?

You might miss them, worry about them, I would agree you still carry a mental load - but you still have time alone, you can catch up on sleep, work out, go out alone... etc.

emilybrontescorsett Sat 23-Mar-19 09:56:55

Why should single parents have extra labels?
Seriously there is enough labelling of women and yes it generally is women.
Why does it matter.
With regards to the op whatever her circumstances are she is entitled to say what she likes on fb without her aunt getting arsey.
If you have children and are alone with them, it is difficult to have a shower in peace.
Would the aunt have jumped down a man's throat if he was the primary carer and mentioned he couldn't even go to the bathroom in peace?
We all know the answer to that.
Would people be jumping up and down if a woman pissed off, didn't see her dc again, didn't pay maintenance and her ex said life could be difficult?
Would people be raging well at least you have your kids, your kids do have a motger, you are not a single parent really are you, your ex is still alive!!!!!
Try having a wide who works away from home. At least you have a brother you can call on, I have nobody!!

That's why women get annoyed.
Still we are judged.

YogaWannabe Sat 23-Mar-19 09:54:28

Sounds like a tacky discussion to have on social media

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